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Comment: Re:Same deal as Petraeus? (Score 1) 483

by dj245 (#49177079) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Right, where's the American spirit? The General Asshole did it for vanity, fame and money, in short, the American dream. And that idiot Snowden for "love of his country" and "moral values". Fuck that, you gotta monetize that shit! Giving away state secrets for free is so Un-American, you commie bastard!

I wish that were an exaggeration. A couple days ago, South Korea legalized adultery. While the rest of the world discussed the history and the merits of the law, the US media asked only if someone had made a buck off it

Comment: Re:not the first time (Score 1) 117

by dj245 (#49167347) Attached to: Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

Maybe it's me, but I thought light behaving as both a particle and a wave was a quantum state. And that quantum state exists until the system is observed and then it collapses into one of two possibilities. Looking that the picture in the link, and...I guess that's not what I was expecting. What am I missing here, physicists? Is the light particle/wave thing not a quantum thing? If it is, that picture doesn't seem like it describes both at once. It almost seems too...cartoony.

From my limited understanding, it appears the photo is showing the particle while showing the effects of the wave on the wire. If light particles were rocks, we are seeing a photo of the rock sinking to the bottom of a pond at the same time we are seeing the water being disturbed by waves. In other words, we aren't seeing the light as a wave, only the wavelike effects on another object.

Comment: Re: A giant lagoon dam (Score 5, Interesting) 185

by dj245 (#49166401) Attached to: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled In UK

Nothing wrong with a little tidal power but just looking at the geography it will never be a significant source of power.

Another problem is the cost. The prices listed in the summary are very expensive electricity ... and those are the lowball figures used to get the project approved, not the "real" numbers. Offshore wind would be cheaper, and have far less environmental impact.

As an traditional power plant engineer, offshore wind costs seem staggeringly high to me. A 90m (300ft) tall tower in the middle of the ocean supporting a nacelle that weighs about 520 metric tons (1.15 million pounds) doesn't come cheap. Have you seen rate sheets for the cranes that are needed to assemble these turbines? On land, they average in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per day.

At sea, with the need for a large vessel and all the crew that a large vessel requires to keep it operating, the cost is staggering. I spent a couple weeks aboard the Tolteca, a Mexican heavy-lift ship with a 2000 ton crane and a crew of about 250. Even using labor from the developing world, the costs are astronomical. We invoiced them millions of dollars of work and they didn't even blink. An offshore supply boat rents out (in good oil-boom times, maybe not right now) for hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. A heavy crane ship is probably in the millions per day. That's just for erecting the wind turbine, which is probably at least a 24 hour lift. You also need specialized vessels to lay high voltage cable across the sea floor. Adding "marine" or "offshore" to the name of anything is an excellent way to multiply the cost by at least 3.

Comment: Re: A giant lagoon dam (Score 2) 185

by dj245 (#49166065) Attached to: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled In UK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_barrage suggests fish mortality is quite high with this method. Considering estuaries are typically fish breeding grounds, If the alternative wasn't nuclear I'd say it wasn't worth the risk to an already depleted ecosystem.

There are a very limited number of places on earth where tidal dam power works. Power output scales linearly with height difference. This map shows the tidal range all over the world. Combine that with a need for a bay or inlet that can be dammed without impacting commerce or the environment, and the list of places tidal power can be used shrinks dramatically. Remember, you need a bay or cove that is large enough to be worthwhile for making power, but not so large that it is economically important. And also not in an environmentally sensitive area.

Nothing wrong with a little tidal power but just looking at the geography it will never be a significant source of power.

Comment: Re:Menial Jobs (Score 1) 185

by dj245 (#49161101) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

It's already happened in America. Most manufacturing jobs have either become automated or outsourced. Most people work in the service industry. Same thing will happen in China.

I work at a facility with a large number of CNC machines making high tech stainless parts. Usually someone has to reverse engineer the old part. Someone has to draw parts in solidworks. Someone has to figure out what size the raw material has to be cut to, before it goes into the CNC. Someone has to load material into the CNC and know how to position it and run the machine. Someone has to order raw material. Someone has to be out trying to find customers. Someone has to make the raw materials at a vendor. Someone has to drive the trucks that deliver raw materials and take away finished goods. The actual cutting of metal might be automated but there are plenty of related jobs which are not.

Comment: Re:Just (Score 4, Interesting) 159

by dj245 (#49149377) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

Learn to play real guitar ..

Or any other instrument. I bought a $150 banjo, a $12 electronic tuner, and a $15 book (ISBN 978-1883206444) about 5 weeks ago. I've only had time to put in about 8 sessions of 30-60 minutes but that's all it took to start sounding somewhat good. I was concerned I would annoy my wife to death but the banjo sounds good even in the hands of a beginner.

Comment: Re:where? (Score 2) 198

by dj245 (#49139231) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

Nearly one third of my 900+ games on Steam not enough for you?

Hell, the thing isn't even out yet and already it's prompted hundreds of developers to release their games on Linux too.

Video games are not a commodity like brown sugar. There may be slight differences between brown sugar manufacturers but 99% of people aren't going to notice. There may be "open world third person shooter with grappling hooks" games available for Linux, but I don't want to play "open world third person shooter with grappling hooks", I want to play Just Cause 2. If Just Cause 2 isn't in that 1/3 of games that Linux supports, then no, the progress on games for Linux isn't enough for me.

Comment: Re:Razer Forge TV (Score 1) 198

by dj245 (#49138435) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

For me local game streaming effectively kills the notion of the SteamBox. Why have multiple powerful expensive PCs when you can have one and a $99 low power ARM box attached to your TV.

Have you actually tried to use the streaming regularly? For me, the input lag is significant enough to make it a nonstarter. There are a lot of little quirks too. I'm very happy they added the feature, but it isn't usuable for some games.

Comment: Re:Realistic (Score 2, Informative) 366

by dj245 (#49130163) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Use some sort of market rate. If there's a lot of supply, but not a lot of demand at a given moment, the price drops.

That's pretty much what we have now in many areas of the US (not all). It is called Locational Marginal Pricing, or LMP. You can see various realtime pricing maps by searching Google for "LMP map". Here's one of them.

The problem is that the people advocating for "net metering", AKA "I want to sell my power at full retail rates", don't want to pay to keep the grid maintained. The LMP price is wholesale. Getting that power to where it is needed requires transmission lines, and transmission lines need maintenance and have a basically fixed capacity. Therefore, there are real costs involved in transporting electricity from where it is generated, to where it is needed. "Net metering" is a fancy way of saying that you don't want to pay those costs.

Generation costs (wholesale cost) + Grid transmission fees = retail price

You are more than welcome to run an extension cable to your neighbor, but if people want to sell to the grid, they need to accept that the grid costs money to maintain, and demanding that utilities pay retail rates for wholesale electricity isn't going to happen.

Comment: Re:Companies ask for it (Score 1) 186

by dj245 (#49127995) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Were your ideas relevant 10 years ago? Or did you perceive some problems which are only becoming relevant now?

Maybe he invented a "better way to do things", which was ignored for some time because changing would have required breaking the inertia of proven technologies. Then when companies today are trying to shave 0.2s from boot times, or improve performance by 3%, they see the value in doing things differently. I could easily see that happening.

Comment: Re:Do no evil... (Score 1) 285

by dj245 (#49120545) Attached to: Google Knocks Explicit Adult Content On Blogger From Public View

That was a long time ago. Google has ignored that line the minute they became a publicly traded company. Every decision they make is how to benefit their stockholders.

Oh really? Because it sounds like they are basically shutting out the adult industry from their Blogger platform. If they wanted to maximize money, they would analyze adult content and serve up relevent ads, the same as any other industry. Budweiser certainly doesn't have a problem with selling alcohol to strip clubs. Johnson & Johnson doesn't take offense when adult stores stock K-Y Jelly. Google's business is analyzing data and serving up ads. Not leveraging a specific type of data to make money, for seemingly moral reasons, doesn't strike me as benefiting the stockholders.

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 1) 304

by dj245 (#49114183) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

If people weren't so set on getting Free Shit, this wouldn't be a problem.

But it seems a lot of people think they have a RIGHT to listen to music, created by others for the purpose of selling and providing an income, for FREE.

Look at all the bitching and moaning that happens on Slashdot about how shit should be free. Fuck You. Shit cost money to make and distribute and you fuckers should be paying for it.

Paid music is a relatively recent innovation. Back in the day, people made music for fun, without pay. Then we went through a period where the very wealthy financed music, either by paying musicians a salary to hang around with the King and play things on request, or by wealthy individuals commissioning music to be written.

The concept of the average Joe paying for music is only about as old as devices which could record and play back music. In addition, this time period almost completely overlaps with the time period in which we had free broadcast radio, where you could just pay a 1-time fee for some hardware and listen to the radio with no additional costs.

Comment: Re:How does this compare to radio? (Score 1) 304

by dj245 (#49114113) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Hahahahahaha! $4.99/month for what is little better than radio, (which as far as I know is still free,)...

Satellite radio (SiriusXM) packages start at $9.99/month and go up to $18.99/month. If you want to listen to Howard Stern, or any sports, or their up to the minute traffic and weather, or get any of the 70 stations not included with the cheaper plan, then you need the more expensive option. If you want to listen to sports and that includes both NFL and any other one (MLB/NHL/NBA/etc), then you need the most expensive package.

When the two were competing (Serius and XM), the lineup differentiation made sense. Now that they're one company, it just looks like they're milking it for every dime they can get: $9.99 = 80 channels that are essentially those in common between the two $14.99 = 140 channels from the old lineup (either the Sirius lineup (howard stern, NFL, NASCAR) or the XM lineup (MLB/NBA/NHL)). $18.99 = 150 channels with the combination of both of the special features.

$4.99 for ad free pandora seems about right. Granted, I think they should all be cheaper, but I rarely listen to anything.

And SiriusXM is a nasty company to deal with to boot. Tons of hidden fees, subscriptions are renewed in sneaky ways, and they treat their customers like crap. I bought a brand new car a year or so back. The Dealer "registered" the radio with SiriusXM, but this doesn't mean that the radio was active. It wasn't, and the radio wouldn't play anything from the satellite and demanded that I call SiriusXM. I was going on a 2 month business trip and decided to call Sirius when I got back to start the free 3-month trial. When I called them, they told me that they couldn't give me the full 3 months because my dealer "registered" the radio with them 3 months before. I fully expected them to cave if I escalated the issue high enough, but they refused to budge.

Comment: Re: About right (Score 2) 241

by dj245 (#49113973) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

You dont understand the crime. The VICTIM determines, by thier natural reaction, what the crime is. If i BELIEVE that you are threatening me with a weapon, it doenst matter what it turns out to be. The fear it induced is the basis of the crime, not the actual item.

No. The test is usually what "a reasonable person" would have thought, not what "The VICTIM" thought. There are lots of unreasonable people in the world who are crazy and would be fearful if someone tried to shake their hand in greeting. This also defeats the problem of victims who thought one thing at the time of the incident then later changed how they thought of the incident. Rather than debate what Joe was thinking about (impossible to argue/debate) we can make arguments on what a "reasonable person" might have thought.

Comment: Re:Lawyers rejoice!! (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by dj245 (#49113935) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

I have a feeling this is less about recovering from damages and more about teaching them a formal lesson (well, cashing-in under the guise of teaching them a formal lesson).

That's the entire point of a class action suit. To stop powerful companies from doing a large number of small harms and getting away with it.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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